CANADA 389 Exhibition
@ Studio XX in partnership with Atelier Céladon
Vernissage: Fri. Dec. 2, 5 - 7pm
Exhibition: Dec. 1 - 4, 11am - 8pm
PRIYA ZOE JAIN
MARY SUI YEE WONG
With texts by Nick Cabelli, Melinda Pierre-Paul Cardinal, Gianna Mardakis, and Gabrielle Montpetit
The Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group (EAHR) is proud the group exhibition Canada 389, featuring the work of four artists who engage with complexities of commemoration, race and ethnocultural representation in Canada. This exhibition seeks to expand our understanding of diversity and national identity by addressing histories of inclusion and exclusion in the realm of what constitutes the nation state in the public imaginary.
The year 2017 will mark significant historic anniversaries for Quebec and Canada, including the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation (1867), the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal (1642), the 70th anniversary of Canadian Citizenship Act (1947), and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67. Bearing in mind an ethics of commemoration, this exhibition asks how contemporary art can help us to understand the responsibility to commemorate as a critical practice especially when historical facts of racism in Canada force us to confront the underrepresentation of culturally-diverse communities in official national histories. Canada 389 is a clear reference to the year 1648 when the first Black slave, a young 8 or 9 year-old boy given the name of Olivier Le Jeune, was sold in Montreal (New France). The exhibition unfolds as a generative space to develop and trigger a conversation concerning identity issues that confronts the present and the future with notions of stereotypes, acculturation, ethnic visual markers, reclamation of histories, and hidden and undocumented sites.